Charles Wesselhoft at work

Charles Wesselhoft, attorney

Wednesday, August 5, 2020,

2:30-3:30 pm,

a Zoom Webinar*

Note: The Arizona Senior Academy building remains closed.

A precious resource everywhere, water availability and allocation have shaped Arizona’s past and will figure prominently in Arizona’s future. Arizona uses about 2.3 trillion gallons of water a year, around 75 percent of which goes to agriculture, with the rest devoted to industrial and residential use. The state’s water comes mainly from surface water, with the Colorado River being the main source. While surface water accounts for 54 percent of the water used by Arizonans, vast groundwater aquifers account for another 43 percent of the water supply. Recycled wastewater accounts for the other 3 percent, and its use is growing.

As time goes by, the availability of potable water will be an increasing challenge in Arizona. Climate change, including the possibility of long-term droughts, combined with increasing residential, commercial, and agricultural demands, not to mention the needs of wildlife and the land itself, will require water planners to devise new ways to stretch limited water supplies and carefully manage the state’s water resources.   

Our speaker, Charles Wesselhoft, recently retired from the Pima County Attorney’s Office, where he was primarily the Deputy Attorney representing the county’s wastewater management department and a specialist in environmental issues. He received his law degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago-Kent School of Law and has been practicing in Arizona since 2005.  He will tell us how unique water management strategies are being developed to protect and extend this essential resource.

The main points Mr. Wesselhoft will cover in his lecture are:

  • the history of water usage in Arizona
  • legislation at federal and state levels to address water overuse and allocation
  • current sources of water and how they are managed
  • efforts to close the gap between the rates of supply and use. 

Written by Roxy Mitchem-Horn,  Academy Village Volunteer

*Directions for accessing the Zoom Webinar may be obtained by request from 

Aug. 5: “Water Rights and Usage”